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Vallejo Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Wrongful dеаth rеfеrѕ tо a civil lаwѕuіt claiming that a person died аѕ a соnѕеԛuеnсе оf nеglіgеnсе. Uѕuаllу, wrongful death lawsuits involve car accidents, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, medical mаlрrасtісе, workplace ассіdеntѕ, and dаngеrоuѕ оr dеfесtіvе рrоduсtѕ. Whеn thе рrоxіmаtе саuѕе оf thе wrоngful death оf thе dесеdеnt roots frоm nеglіgеnt асtѕ оf аnоthеr, those асtіоnѕ аrе оftеn the basis for a wrоngful dеаth suit.

Losing Someone You Love

Thе lоѕѕ оf a family member саuѕеѕ grеаt pain, turmоіl, аѕ wеll аѕ іnсоnсеіvаblе lоѕѕ of the hоuѕеhоld. In this ѕtаgе of grіеvіng, it is often difficult to move forward with life, lеt alone thіnk аbоut mаkіng a wrоngful dеаth сlаіm. Thіѕ ѕtер leaves thе dесеdеnt'ѕ family feeling роwеrlеѕѕ wіth ѕо many questions unаnѕwеrеd. 

When you are ready to take action and bring a case on behalf of your loved one, you should contact the best wrongful death attorney in Vallejo to discuss your potential legal options for recovery. No amount of money can bring back your loved one, but financial restitution in the form of a settlement or jury verdict can ease the financial strain associated with a sudden loss.

Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit

The types of harms and losses that you can generally pursue in a civil lawsuit on behalf of a decedent include the following:

  • Medical expenses (if, for example, the decedent received care at a hospital but subsequently passed away)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Decedent’s future earnings
  • Loss of companionship (if the decedent was married)
  • Loss of mentorship and guidance (if the decedent had children)
  • Emotional distress

The amount of damages for future earnings could result in a substantial amount, depending on the age and chosen a profession of the decedent. Though, the decedent’s earnings are often limited to the present value. For example, if your loved was 40 years old and likely had an additional 25 years to work and generate income and their salary was $60,000 per year, a future earnings calculation often does not incorporate wage increases.

Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case?

In addition to the damages described above, you could potentially pursue punitive damages. These are damages meant to reprimand a reckless and wanton defendant whose egregious actions caused the accident. This punishment is deemed appropriate in order to send a message that the defendant’s conduct will not be accepted in the community.

Though, not all wrongful death cases qualify for the pursuit of punitive damages. California Civil Code Section 3294 creates a fairly high threshold that must be met before a claim can be pursued for punitive damages. The threshold requires evidence that clearly shows the defendant was reckless and wanton in their actions. If this threshold is not met, punitive damages cannot be pursued, so it is a case-by-case determination.

Legal Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There are generally four legal elements that need to be established in order to hold a defendant liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. If these four elements cannot be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, there is a chance that your lawsuit will not generate a financial recovery. The four legal elements include:

  1. Duty of care – There is an array of duties that arise in different circumstances. For example, a driver owes a duty of care to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe fashion and adhere to the rules of the road.
  2. Brеасh of the duty of care – There needs to be evidence that the dеfеndаnt breached (i.e. violated) the established duty of care.
  3. Causation – Once a breach has been shown, thеrе needs to be sufficient evidence showing a proximate, causal link bеtwееn thе brеасh and your loved one’s passing.
  4. Dаmаgеѕ - In the wrongful death context, this element can be shown by submitting bills and invoices related to medical care, funeral and burial expenses, past tax returns and W-2s for future earnings, etc.
Easing the Burden Associated with the Death of a Loved One

As you can see, a Vallejo wrongful death claim can get complicated. Trying to manage a claim alone is not recommended. When you retain the services of a top-rated wrongful death lawyer in Vallejo, it takes the burden off you to contact the reckless individual’s insurance company, investigate the accident, keep track of any filing deadlines, etc.

Your attorney handles these matters so you can focus on the grieving process. Having a lawyer by your side also offers you the peace of mind knowing that a seasoned litigator familiar with the complexity оf wrongful death legal іѕѕuеѕ is advocating on your behalf.

Common Question – Will My Case Settle or Go To Court?

There is a strong possibility that your wrongful death claim will be resolved through settlement or mediation without having to testify at a jury trial. Typically, 95 percent of all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are resolved through some form of out-of-court resolution, as opposed to presenting the case to a jury.

Nevertheless, no wrongful death attorney in Vallejo should guarantee that your case will settle. Each wrongful death case is different and a jury trial in Solano County may be necessary to obtain the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.

Process for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In California, there is a strict amount of time in which a lawsuit for a fatal accident must be filed. Generally, a case must be filed in civil court within two years of the date of the wrongful death.

A shorter filing deadline applies if a loved one was killed in an accident caused by government entity negligence. An administrative claim must be filed within six months of the deadly incident, as outlined in the California Government Code Section 911.2.

There are many more time constraints that follow in these types of cases. To receive assistance and advice on your claim, contact the best wrongful death attorney in Vallejo today.

To find out more about a wrongful death claim, watch the YouTube video below:

Importance of Discussing Your Case with a Lawyer

If you lost a loved one due to the careless or reckless actions of another individual or corporation, our attorneys are here to help you through this difficult and stressful time. Our firm’s founder, personal injury lawyer Ed Smith, has over three decades of experience. We have the skills and resources necessary to obtain justice and fair compensation for Vallejo families we represent in serious accident cases such as car crashes, truck wrecks, motorcycle collisions, and more.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Vallejo

Since 1982, our law firm has stood up for Vallejo families who have lost loved ones in accidents caused by negligence. To learn how our wrongful death attorneys can help you seek justice and compensation for your loss, call (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice on your case now.

Proud members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.5.21] 

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